“The Christian life is a call to risk. You either live with risk or waste your life.” – John Piper
Are you making the most of what God has entrusted to you? Think about your life, talents, gifts, and circumstances. I asked myself that question as I studied Matthew 25. In Matt Perman’s audio book, What’s Best Next, he mentions how the wicked servant in this passage is judged for not producing. As I read the passage this week, it left me asking myself these questions:
- Have I been faithful with what I have been given?
- Is there more?
I was having lunch with a friend and fellow pastor, and I told him about my desire to better grasp this chapter of scripture. He shared a few thoughts from his new book Gaining by Losing. I picked up a copy of the book and after spending the majority of chapter 11 talking about the necessity of risk, J.D. Greear says, “Every great risk in God’s name begins with confidence in the goodness and trustworthiness of God.”
These servants who were rewarded in Matthew 25 certainly took risks. There was no guarantee their investments would produce a return. The third guy in the passage wouldn’t invest even when there was a guaranteed return because he did not trust the goodness of his master. Notice Greear’s quote says there is “confidence in the goodness and trustworthiness of God.” Go back and read verses 24-25. The third guy has a poor view of his master. He does not believe his master is good and makes decisions based on fear.
Perhaps you wonder if you are being faithful or if God has something more for you. Here are four questions for you to consider.
1. What is your next step of faith?
Examine your life up to this point. How has God been preparing you for what is next? Search scripture and seek counsel from those with whom you are living in biblical community for confirmation in what your next steps may be. It may be a radical step of faith. It may mean dealing with sin or character issues. Or being faithful in daily responsibilities. Seek the Lord through His Word and His people.
2. If you are afraid to take the step, what is your fear based on?
Fear is not always bad. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. But fear often paralyzes our faith. If you are afraid to take your next step of faith, ask yourself what the fear is based on. Is it actually an inaccurate view of God? Do you trust that God is good, regardless of the result?
3. What are you waiting for?
Sometimes we have grand plans and aren’t sure what our next steps should be. Sometimes we over analyze our options and become frozen by paralysis of analysis. God rarely shows us every step of the way before we take the first step. Often He works like in Psalm 119:105 – He lights our path like a lamp. A lamp lights just enough of our path to take the next step. It does not illuminate the entire journey. It lights enough for each step. Take the next step.
4. What does it mean to share in your master’s happiness?
I love the master’s response in Matthew 25 to the two servants who are faithful with what they have been given. Go back and read verses 21 and 23 again. What do you think it means to share in your masters happiness? In what way does God invite us to share in His happiness? Is it possible to have anything better than this kind of happiness?
In his book, Happiness, Randy Alcorn says, “Along with countless other sons and daughters of the King, we’ll celebrate God without end and be happy with Him and in Him.”